The purple worm was akin to an enormous (5 feet wide and tall and 80 feet long) and bizarre earthworm.
As its name implied, the purple worm was deep purple in color, with a pale yellow underbelly. Separating its yellow part from its purple part were hard crests going down its sides. It was well-armored and segmented. One end of the purple worm terminated in a large, toothed mouth, with slit-like eyes set above the mouth and dragon's ear-like limbs at the sides of the "head". While many that encountered the purple worm worried about falling into the worm’s mouth, they commonly forgot about the creature’s tail, which was capped by a poisonous paralytic stinger. The purple worm was often depicted as bursting out of the ground and arching itself in a distinctive pose. Purple worms were not able to speak.
Purple worms spent their time burrowing through the underground and sought to consume any organic matter they found. Their favored and most feared method of attack was swallowing their prey whole. Many groups of adventures succumbed to such a fate, disappearing down a Purple Worm's gullet one after the other. Purple worms could also attack with their tail stinger, and by grabbing and grappling with prey.
Purple worms existed deep within the earth. They laired in vast underground caverns when they have consumed too much, allowing them to digest while they rested.
Purple worms laid eggs in areas sometimes called nurseries. Sometimes these areas were the home of other creatures that formed a symbiotic relationship with the worms. The other creatures used the area to hunt for prey that were searching for the valuable eggs, thus protecting the eggs themselves. Giant spiders and other creatures which have no direct interest in the eggs often served this purpose. Fomorian giants sometimes developed a relationship with the purple worms as well and became caretakers of the clusters of eggs. Purple worm eggs were approximately three-foot diameter, silvery spheres with extremely hard shells. The eggs were often clustered together in groups of six and were suspended from their chamber walls by strands of sticky saliva. They were highly valued by wizards for various arcane rituals.
Purple worms were regarded as neutral in alignment, since their aggressive nature was the result of instinct rather than evil maliciousness.
Varieties of purple worms were known to live in lakes or desert plains. These creatures possessed color variations that allowed them to blend in with their respective environments.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 255. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 214. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 211. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 364. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 80. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
- ↑ Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 171–175. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.